Zoo Animals

A photo of three pigs grazing at the Detroit Zoo barnyard

Pig

Sus scrofa domesticus

At the Detroit Zoo
Oliver, a male Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, is a former pet who was donated to the Zoo in 2008. Four more pigs joined him the following year. Arnold is a male Vietnamese pot-bellied pig who was rescued after being found wandering the streets of Detroit. Maggie is a female Meishan pig born in 2008 at the Iowa State University Swine Breeding Farm. Betty Ann and Lula are female Gloucestershire old spot pigs who were born in 2009 in Lockport, NY. The pigs reside in the Zoo’s Barn with the miniature donkeys, domestic yak, Thoroughbred horses, Belted Galloway steer and other barnyard animals.

Description
Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs have black skin with scarce hair, short erect ears, a short snout and low abdomen. They have loose skin which gives them a wrinkly appearance. Meishan pigs are known for their dark, wrinkled face and drooping ears. Gloucester old spot pigs have broad, deep bodies and large ears. They are white with distinctive black spots.

Fun Facts

  • All domestic pigs have curling tails, unlike their wild relatives who typically have straight tails.

  • Pigs' skin lacks hair, which makes them very sensitive to the sun. To stay cool and protect their skin, they wallow in the mud.

  • Pigs have poor vision but an excellent sense of smell and hearing.

  • Pigs are very clean and will keep their toilet area far away from where they sleep and eat.